Features of growing and caring for the apple tree
Apple tree Zvezdochka fell in love with gardeners because of the delicious fruits, ease of care and versatility of use. Read more about its cultivation in the article.
Description and characteristics of apple trees
The well-known breeder S. Chernenko received the Asterisk. For crossing, he used the varieties Anis scarlet and Pepinka Lithuanian. The result is a winter variety that is recommended for cultivation in various regions, except for those in which too severe winters are observed. It is zoned in the central regions of the Russian Federation.
Zvezdochka variety trees grow tall. A mature plant 20 years old can have a height of 5.5 m and a crown diameter of 6.5 m. The shape of the crown of the young trees is round. As they grow older, the branches bend, and it becomes spreading, drooping. Shoots are long, thin, pubescent, red-brown in color.
The leaves are oval in shape, have notches along the edges. Fruiting occurs 5-7 years after planting a seedling. If he is vaccinated on a dwarf stock, then the fruits can be expected earlier - after 3-5 years. Apples ripen from late September to early October.
Did you know? Apple trees can live more than one hundred years. So, in the city of Krolevets (Sumy region, Ukraine), a tree grows, which is about 300 years old. During this time, it has grown several trunks.
Type and properties of apples
The fruits of the Asterisk are medium in size, reaching a mass of 85–130 g. Individual specimens of 170 g can be found. They are rounded in shape and slightly flattened. If you look at them from the side of the stalk, you will notice that small edges form an asterisk. It is because of this feature that the variety received its name.
Their main color is light green, the integument is dark red, in the form of a blush. Their skin has a bluish-colored wax coating. The pulp is white, characterized by juiciness and tenderness. There are few seeds in it. The taste is dessert, sweet and sour. The level of sugars in the pulp is about 9-10%, acid - 0.5-1%.
- Due to the diverse and rich chemical composition, apples have a number of useful properties on the human body:
- the presence of a large number of vitamins (A, B2, B6, C, E, PP) makes them indispensable in strengthening the immune system, preventing vitamin deficiency .;
- fiber, which is part of the fruit, improves the functioning of the digestive tract, relieves constipation;
- the iron contained in the pulp avoids the development of anemia.
Due to the low calorie content - 52 kcal / 100 g - apples are recommended for those who are watching their figure or trying to get rid of extra pounds.
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Winter hardiness and disease resistance
Zvezdochka apple trees do not differ in high frost resistance, therefore for the winter they need to be warmed and not planted in areas with severe frosts. The variety has a strong immunity to such a dangerous disease as scab.
Pollinators and productivity
Apple tree Zvezdochka is self-fertile, therefore, for normal levels of productivity, pollinating plants should be planted nearby. Such varieties as Antonovka, Bogatyr, Ladoga, Zhigulevskoye cope best with the task of pollination.
Zvezdochka itself is an excellent pollinator for Antonovka. The yield of mature trees is high - 110 kg per plant. Record apple trees with quality care and planting under optimal conditions bring up to 210 kg of fruit.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Among the advantages of the Zvyozdochka variety, the following are noted:
- stable yields;
- high palatability of apples;
- beautiful presentation of fruits;
- excellent scab resistance;
- long storing of fruits.
- The disadvantages of the variety:
- average winter hardiness;
- a tendency to reduce fruit and reduce yield with age;
- The need for mandatory annual pruning.
Features of planting seedlings
In order to successfully plant an apple tree, it needs to choose a suitable site, prepare it and choose a quality seedling.
To the place where the apple tree is grown, several requirements are put forward:
- it should be well lit;
- be sheltered from the north winds;
- groundwater is no closer than 2–2.5 m to the surface of the earth.
The soil should be fertile, with good moisture and air conductivity and low acidity - 5.1–6.5 pN. If the acidity of the soil is high, lime is added to it for digging. All these manipulations are performed in the fall.
For planting, it is better to choose planting material aged 1-2 years. The fact that the seedling is of high quality will be indicated by its characteristics:
- growth up to 1.5 m;
- strong, well-developed root system;
- healthy, rootless neck without spots and growths.
Landing is planned for spring - for the period from late April to mid-May. So the tree will be able to adapt to growth in open ground and external conditions, as well as gain strength before winter. In autumn, sapling stars Do not recommend planting stars.
A pit for landing is prepared in 2-3 weeks. It should be 100 cm in diameter and 80 cm deep. The earth recovered by digging a hole is mixed with fertilizers: humus (1 bucket), potassium mixtures (1 tbsp.), Wood ash (1 tbsp.).
Landing is as follows:
- They inject a stake in the pit intended to support an undeveloped seedling.
- Two-thirds of the hole is filled with fertilized soil, pouring it with a knoll.
- The seedling is placed in the center of the hole, placing it on the north side of the stake. The root neck is leveled so that it is located 5-7 cm higher from the soil level.
- The roots are evenly distributed over the pit.
- They fill the hole to the edge with soil.
- Tamped with light movements.
- It is watered by pouring 2-3 buckets of water under the seedling.
- The trunk zone is mulched with humus, peat, sawdust, a straw layer of 5–7 cm.
- Tie the seedling trunk to the stake.
When planting several apple trees between them, a distance of 4 m must be observed. The same distance should be maintained from buildings and fences.
Subtleties of care after planting
Caring for an apple Asterisk is simple. Even a person ignorant of gardening can handle it. Standard procedures are required - watering, fertilizing, loosening, weeding, mulching, warming before winter.
An important and mandatory care measure is trimming and shaping the crown. Only with their correct conduct can one achieve a plentiful harvest for a long time, as well as fruits with a high sugar content and beautiful appearance.
Learn also how to make an apple tree blossom and bear fruit.
Watering and soil fertilization scheme
The apple tree should be watered moderately and not too often - 3-4 times per season.
Be sure to moisten the trunk zone should be carried out in such phases:
- at the time of blossoming of flowers;
- before the formation of ovaries;
- 14–20 days before the fruit fully ripens.
Stacked with a layer of 5-7 cm, it prevents the appearance of weeds and saves the desired level of moisture. To improve fruiting and prevent disease, the tree needs top dressing. At least 3 fertilizers will be required per season.
You can stick to the following chart:
|Period||Fertilizer per 1 m²|
|Second half of april||urea (0.5 kg) or nitroammophosk (1 tbsp. l.)|
|At the beginning of flowering||superphosphate (100 g) + potassium sulfate (80 g) + urea (20 g) + water (20 l), insist a week|
|In the phase of fruit formation||nitrophoska (100 g) + sodium humate (2 g) + water (20 l)|
|After fruiting||humus + potassium sulfate (0.3 kg) + superphosphate (0.3 kg)|
Trimming and shaping branches
As we have already noted, pruning Zvezdochka apple trees is a must and every year. A correctly trimmed tree does not have a thickened crown, it is less likely to get sick, grows better and bears more fruit, the fruits are more sweet and attractive in appearance.
- to give a certain shape to the crown;
- to remove branches that interfere with the growth and development of the tree;
- to prevent crown thickening during growth;
- to rejuvenate and stimulate the growth of young shoots.
The crown is formed in trees that are not yet 5 years old. From the very first year of planting, all branches are cut by a third, while leaving the central conductor 20–25 cm above the branches.
Important! Trimming is done only with a pre-sanitized tool. Places of cuts are necessarily treated with garden varieties or RanNet.
When the crown is already formed, and the apple tree has 3-4 tiers of branches, only support pruning is performed, during which incorrectly growing shoots are removed. Every spring, before the sap flow begins, sick, dry, broken, twisted and curved branches growing inside the crown are cut.
Common problems growing apple trees
Asterisk trees are affected by scab only in the absence of care and improper planting. When conducting competent agricultural technology, apple owners do not encounter this disease. If the infection has occurred, then treatment with the chemical product “Chorus” is needed.
Fruits may be rotten. When infected, they become covered with brown spots and rot. To heal the trees, use the “Hom” or “Strobi”. Also, trees are affected by powdery mildew. The main symptom of the lesion is a white coating on the leaves. The treatment of this disease is carried out with copper chloride, the drug "Strobi".
Important! Chemical treatments are stopped 40 days before harvesting.
Of the pests, the danger to apple trees is such insects:
- Hawthorn . This large butterfly with white wings lays larvae that eat leaves on trees. In order to prevent the occurrence of a pest in the spring, Chlorophos, Karbofos, and Entobacterin-3 are treated.
- Moth . When defeated, the fruits become covered with brown spots and rot. To heal the trees, use the “Hom” or “Strobi”.
- Moth This caterpillar causes serious damage to the fruit. To prevent its occurrence, it is recommended to install pheromone traps. If there are a lot of caterpillars, then the use of chemicals "Karate", "Accord", "Bi-58", "Fufanon" is required.
In winter, trees can get frostbite and even die. To avoid this, they must be properly prepared for the winter period: to whiten, water abundantly, insulate and mulch the earth around the trunk.
Whitewashing is needed to prevent burns on the cortex from spring sunshine, cracks and frost pits. It is produced with a special mixture. The trunk and lower branches are whitened to a height of 1.5–1.7 m.
The mixture can be bought ready-made or made with your own hands by mixing various components, for example, copper sulfate and lime, white paint with antiseptic additives.
Water-charging irrigation is carried out only if there is not a lot of rain in the fall. Under one tree you need to pour about 100 liters of water. In order for the tree to successfully tolerate low temperatures, its trunk and root system are insulated.
The bark of a tree is covered with fir spruce, spanbond, roofing material, roofing felt or other materials suitable for this purpose. This procedure allows not only to protect the bark from the cold, but also to prevent its damage by rodents.
The soil above the root system is mulched with humus or peat. These materials will warm her even in severe frosts. Straw and hay are not used before winter, as they draw attention to the rodent tree.
Did you know? Soviet cosmonauts had a tradition of returning from space, immediately after landing, to eat an apple. The fruit was the first solid food they consumed on Earth.
Features of harvesting and storage of crops
The ripeness of apples is determined by taste, condition of the skin and scallop. The taste of the fruit should be as breeders say in the description of the variety, i.e. sweet and sour and juicy. When pressed with a finger, the skin should bend and not align. If it bursts, the fruits are overripe, if the dent is leveled, they are not ripe. The crop is ready for harvest when 5 or more very large and red fruits are found on the ground.
It is important to clean apples on time, preventing them from overriding and not removing them from unripe branches. Only well ripe fruits can be stored for as long as possible. They reach consumer maturity within a month.
Harvesting is recommended on the day when there is no rainfall, during the period when the dew has already dried up. Fruits harvested with wet skin will be smaller and worse stored. The fruits must be carefully removed from the tree, not separating from the stalks. It is better to do this with gloves so as not to damage the skin.
In the cellar or basement, apples are stored in wooden boxes lined with paper. In the refrigerator, they are stored in a fruit tray. The fruits will be usable for 7 months. In order for fruits to be stored as long as possible, they must be sorted out before storing for storage, removing damaged ones and wormholes. Apples of the described variety are suitable for fresh consumption, as well as for the preparation of juice, compotes, desserts, pastries, jam.
So, the Zvezdochka apple tree should be selected for cultivation in a region where severe frosts are not observed. If she picks up a good place and pruning branches in a timely manner, she will be able to delight with plentiful and tasty crops for many years.